A record 26 lakh tourists visited the Kashmir valley last year.
This was officially stated, and the source pointed out that the central Government has always maintained that the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August 2019 has helped Jammu & Kashmir to witness a huge change with the resumption of tourism and also a massive decline in terror activities.
By February 2023, for the first time in the history of Jammu & Kashmir, a record 1.88 crore tourists visited the union territory in 2022.
Union Minister of State in PMO, Jitendra Singh, said enormous avenues of opportunity had been unfolded by PM Modi across the country and “this is the message and the perception to be carried from here.”
Around 122 delegates, including 60 foreigners, arrived in Srinagar for the third G20 tourism working group meeting on May 22.
“The G20 event will falsify all the false narratives created by vested interests or by cynics or self-styled critics. The event is a moment of rejuvenation and reincarnation. This is just returning to the Shammi Kapoor- era, who shot most films here. Kashmir is a cost-effective place with a variety of locations,” Jitendra Singh said.
Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chandra, told All India Radio that the Ministry is providing incentives to foreign filmmakers with the objective of making India a favourite destination. He expressed the hope that more filmmakers will visit Kashmir to shoot their films.
Official sources have stated that if the UT of Jammu & Kashmir is prominently featured in a feature film with more than 75 per cent shooting days in the UT, then the tourism sector of the UT gets the direct benefit.
Such a film shall be given an additional subsidy of Rs. 50 lakh, which shall be decided by the JKFDC on a case-to-case basis.
The first three-day significant international event’ is being held in Jammu & Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 four years back. The three-day G20 mega event from May 22-24, is focusing on five key priority areas: Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, MSMEs and Destination Management.
Officials say Srinagar is “decked up well” for hosting the prestigious third Tourism Working Group Meeting of G20 members. Representatives from Spain, Singapore, and Mauritius are discussing film tourism in the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir.
Spain, Singapore, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and India are among seven countries to discuss the global perspective of film tourism, as well as its economic benefits and impact in Jammu & Kashmir.
The event’ Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation’ is part of the mega third Tourism Working Group Meeting.
“There cannot be a better place than Kashmir for shooting movies. The Centre go out of our way in providing assistance in shooting movies and shoot locations and help to shift film destination from any other part to Kashmir,” G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said.
Singapore’s High Commissioner to India, Simon Wong, has praised the beauty of Kashmir and said that he is “very happy” to be in Srinagar. Taking to his official Twitter handle, Simon Wong said, “Very happy to be in Srinagar. Pure beauty. Thank you so much for your warm welcome. HC Wong.”
According to noted actor K Ram Charan of ‘RRR’ fame, Jammu & Kashmir remains an “untapped” location.
It’s magical to see Kashmir because it’s absolutely magnificent, he said, addressing the ‘Film Tourism for Economic and Cultural Preservation’ event.
Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy has said that the Centre will soon declare a National Tourism Policy and is also planning a Global Tourism Investment Summit.
The Government is also planning to host the Global Tourism Investment Summit.
G Kishan said while tourism in Jammu & Kashmir is growing, “Today we are running the 74-160 flights up to Leh. Also, the weekly flight tally for Srinagar has gone up to 532 flights since the end of last year. This year we are expecting a double tourist number, including both foreign and domestic.”
He also said, “I hope that India will become a world tourist destination in the coming years. We are also working with all the State Governments on different schemes and policies.”
“Films have great potential to attract tourists from across the globe. It helps in boosting many other sectors like hospitality, transportation, etc. Film tourism is also about ensuring cultural preservation, promotion of talent and boosting the economy of the region,” G Kishan said.